Yangon, Myanmar (AP) – Police clamped down on protesters protesting Myanmar’s military coup, defying new protests and firing water cannons for shooting and shooting warning shots to disperse the crowds that hit the streets again on Tuesday.
Reports from several injured protesters expressed strong concern from the United Nations office in Myanmar.
“As per reports from Ney Pe Taw, Mandalay and other cities, many protesters have been injured, some of them taken seriously by security forces,” said Yuen.
“The use of unsafe force against protesters is unacceptable,” said Ola Almagren, the UN coordinator in Myanmar.
Water cannons were used in Myanmar’s second largest city, Mandalay, where witnesses said at least two warning shots were fired in early attempts to break up the crowd. Gunfire can be heard on video from the city, some of which show the riot police running wildly with their batons at people trying to escape. Reports on social media said that police arrested more than two dozen people there.
Police also used water cannons for the second day in the capital Natapitav and opened fire in the air. The police fired rubber bullets at the crowd in Nyepitawa on the information that several people were injured. Photos on social media showed an alleged shooter – an officer who has a gun with small arms – and several injured people. The protesters said that they post pictures of bullet casings found at the scene online.
Unauthorized social media reports aired the shooting with live rounds and deaths among protesters, with the potential for violent retaliation against the authorities – a resolution supporters of the country’s civil disobedience movement have warned against. The AP was unable to confirm the reports immediately.
The weekly magazine 7D News reported on its Twitter account that a 19-year-old woman was shot dead by police in Neipidaw and emergency surgery was being performed at the city’s main hospital. It cited Min Thu, the local president of the National League for Democracy Party, to oust national leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
The NLD’s national office in Yangon was raided after security forces raided regional party offices on Tuesday night, which the party called illegal.
The protesters are demanding that the ousted civilian government be reinstated and are demanding independence for Suu Kyi and other ruling party members as the military seizes power and opens the new session of parliament on 1 February Stopped calling.
Increasing disregard is taking place in a country where past demonstrations have met with lethal force and are reminiscent of past movements in the long and bloody struggle of the South East Asian country for democracy. The military used lethal force against military dictatorships to end the massive 1988 and 2007 rebellion led by Buddhist monks.
The decrees issued on Monday night were banned for some areas in Yangon and Mandalay, with motorized processions, as well as illegal rallies and gatherings of more than five people, along with a curfew from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Was applied. It was not clear whether sanctions were imposed for other areas. Those who commit violence may face up to six months in jail or fines.
There were demonstrations in other cities on Tuesday as well, including Bago – where elders in the city interacted with police to avoid violent confrontations – and in Dauji and northern Shan State.
In Magway, central Myanmar, where water cannons were also used, unconfirmed reports on social media said many police officers had crossed over to join the ranks of protesters. The police also changed sides in Napitav and Pathin, west of Yangon. The AP was unable to confirm the reports immediately.
Crowds also gathered in Yangon, the country’s largest city, where thousands of people were demonstrating on Saturday, albeit with tight security. There was no violence.
A small indicator of restraint by the military government, police were not deployed to prevent demonstrations. The military has a record of brutality in crushing previous rebellions as well as fighting ethnic minorities in the border areas seeking self-determination. It has also been accused of committing genocide in its 2017 counter-terrorism campaign, which fired more than 700,000 members of Muslim Rohingya minorities across the border to seek security in Bangladesh.
The state media on Monday, referring to the protests for the first time, said that they are endangering the stability of the country.
“Democracy can be destroyed if there is no discipline,” said a statement from the Ministry of Information, read on the state television station MRTV. “We must take legal action to prevent actions that violate state stability, public safety and the rule of law.”
However, the military commander, who led the coup and now the leader of Myanmar, made no mention of the unrest in the 20-minute Televis speech on Monday night, his first to the public since the takeover.
Senior General Min Aung Hling repeatedly claimed about the fraud of the poll that the military’s takeover had been justification, allegations that were dismissed by the state Election Commission. He said that his junta would hold new elections as promised in a year and hand over power to the winners, and explained the Junta’s intended policies for COVID-19 control and economy.
The general comment, which included incentives for foreign investors, did little to alleviate concern in the international community.
US State Department spokesman Ned Price said the US condemned the violence against the protesters and reiterated America’s earlier call for the military to restore power to the elected government. Using Myanmar’s former name, Washington stated, “The international community is making every effort to restore democracy and civilian leadership in Burma.”
The Geneva-based U.N.’s Human Rights Council will meet on Friday to consider the human rights implications of the crisis. The UK and the European Union requested for a special session, which would be part of a high-profile public debate among Myanmar diplomats and could advance a resolution concerns or international action recommendations.
New Zealand suspended all military and high-level political contact with Myanmar, with Foreign Minister Nania Mahuta making the announcement in Wellington on Tuesday, stating that any assistance from New Zealand should not benefit Myanmar’s military government .
“We do not recognize the legitimacy of a military-led government and we call on the army to immediately release all detained political leaders and restore civilian rule,” Mahuta said. New Zealand was also imposing travel restrictions on military leaders.
Associated Press writers Jamie Keaton in Geneva and Nick Perry in Wellington, New Zealand contributed to this report.
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